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UC and Video – Phones of the Future

What will phones in the future look like?  If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common:  they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video.  Always video.

The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.

At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face.  Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops

Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.

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The Sixth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Power to Your People

This is the sixth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here. The fourth blog post focused on creating an app checkpoint can be found here. The fifth blog post focused on defending data can be found here.

step6a

Watch video at http://youtu.be/3kD5EpXypFc

Over the course of this series, we’ve discussed how enterprises can better enable people to work in their own way, regardless of where they are and what device they are using. We started by making smart plans at an architecture level and then implementing secure policies along the way. The final step enterprises need to take may be the hardest one of all but can yield the greatest results. To increase productivity, business agility, and customer satisfaction, enterprises must actively embrace mobility in the workplace. Here’s a short checklist to help organizations with this last step:

1. Go Beyond Provisioning Mobility for Sales: Think “All-Company” Mobility.

The definition of mobility is expanding to include not just “road warriors” but also “corridor warriors,” as well as guest and home workers.

Make sure your mobility architecture is designed to accommodate them all. Then create a phased implementation plan. Determine which users and business processes you want to prioritize first and move forward at a pace that makes sense for your enterprise.

An all-hands-on-deck approach will also help drive future implementation of mobile solutions. Read More »

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BYOD with Flair – Cisco Customer Vitra AG has Designs on Manufacturing.

September 13, 2013 at 9:20 am PST

 

Having just moved into a new house, my wife and I are looking to see how all our old furniture can be re-used -- with her eye on the best design (she’s a designer by trade), and my eye on cost. We’ll end up somewhere in the middle I expect, slightly geared towards ‘design’ if past experience is anything to go by!

An example of Vitra design -- the VitraHaus

Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra pulls off both objectives -- providing customers with great design, AND managing to reduce cost in the organization, How? With Cisco of course!

Take a visit across the Swiss border into Germany and you can visit to the VitraHaus location, its flagship store. Visiting Vitrahaus is like taking a trip through design history, but it also offers the opportunity to encounter the work of leading contemporary designers. Furnishings and objects from the Vitra Home Collection are arranged in a variety of settings for both living and working.

Communications and collaboration are central to bringing these concepts to life. Vitra has been partnering with Cisco for over a decade, evolving its IT infrastructure and expanding wireless LAN deployments. The biggest concentration of wireless access points, more than 70, is at Weil am Rhein. The latest stage of that IT strategy intends to make wireless a key enabler for business transformation.

“Improving guest Wi-Fi access was very important,” says Marco Gersbacher, head of IT infrastructure services at Vitra, “while we also wanted to make sure the business was fully prepared for bring-your-own-device.

Although Vitra had no formal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, a growing number of employees were using personal smartphones and tablets alongside company laptops in the workplace.

Vitra Style - style is pervasive in all that they do.

Vitra Style -- style is pervasive in all that they do.

This trend created problems with device recognition and password reset requests. Certain devices could connect only over the wired network, others just to Wi-Fi, and some not at all. So, a robust BYOD framework was a strategic priority. Without visibility of devices, however, the company was unable to guarantee network performance and security.

A validated Cisco® Borderless Network design has helped enable Vitra unify access across all network domains: wired, wireless, and VPN. The solution was installed by NextiraOne and includes the following components: Read More »

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It’s About Retail, Not Technology

Hello, and welcome to my inaugural blog! I am happy to be here sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, because I have to tell you: I have the coolest job in the world.

I’ve spent my entire life in retail, starting as a part-time worker while in school and moving up through merchandising and operations to regional vice president at Shopko Stores, Inc., overseeing the work of 12,000 employees. Over more than 20 years, I fell in love with the whole process of retail. When I was invited to work in the retail technology sector, it seemed a natural extension of the work I was already doing. Relatively few tech companies build their solutions around store needs – too often, they tend to focus on technology for technology’s sake. In fact, sometimes retailers do the same thing! I saw an opportunity to impact how vendors – and retailers – think about technologies that truly add value to the business.

Today’s trend toward mobility, or BYOD, is a great example. I’m sorry if this shocks you, but mobility without a strategy has no value at all for the retailer! I have seen stores invest in Wi-Fi networks while continuing to build cell-based apps – this despite Wi-Fi’s higher speeds, more flexible capabilities, and ability to improve the shopping and selling experience. They don’t want employees surfing the Internet, so they block employee access to the network and information that could help improve sales. They understand that shoppers are “showrooming” – sharing opinions and comparison shopping online from the store – but do not leverage the same behavior to promote products and analyze customer trends.

Mobility is a vehicle for improving the business, an extension of overall strategy. (You might like to check out this Lippis Report on “Monetizing Public Wi-Fi in Business to Consumer Relationships.”) I work with companies to help determine how to use such vehicles to define the customer experience, collect and manage large masses of data, and make store operations more efficient. I also help design the Cisco solutions that solve these retail business problems.

Join me on a journey to learn how stores are approaching, managing, and dealing with today’s innovations and how they are meeting customer needs. We’ll talk about how stores are using today’s systems, the most recent trends, the latest research, and how retailers are dealing with this very rapidly changing industry. Please get back to me with your own stories and questions in the comments section.

One more word: I love retail trivia! Comment if you know the answer to this question: What retailer in the country has the highest amount of sales per square foot of its stores?

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The Fifth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Defending Your Data

This is the fifth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here. The fourth blog post focused on creating an app checkpoint can be found here

In a 2012 survey of IT executives and CEOs, nearly half of the companies that permit mobility and BYOD reported experiencing a data or security breach as a result of an employee-owned device accessing the corporate network. In addition, security concerns continue to remain a key issue for decision makers looking to deploy additional mobile solutions such as enterprise mobile apps, according to a recent article from IT Pro.

Careful planning can help enterprises manage security concerns and harness the power of mobility. Here’s a brief checklist to help organizations secure devices, data and the network:

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

1. IT Pushing of Capability Down to End Devices

 IT needs to be able to push capabilities down to end devices and access control for both on-premises and off-premises apps, while providing pull capabilities for users, so they can self-provision apps.

IT must have the ability to apply situational control policies (for example, for disabling cameras on mobile devices in order to protect on-premises company assets when employees and guests are on corporate premises or in restricted areas). Another must have? The ability to remotely locate, lock, and wipe devices should there be a theft or if an employee leaves the company. It is also essential to be able to automate geo-specific policies to control roaming costs when workers are out of country. Read More »

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